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Generic.com: SCOTUS to Consider Whether a Top-Level Domain Creates a Protectable Trademark
November 15, 2019
Post by Nicholas J. Krob
Much to the chagrin of companies such as Bayer, DuPont, Westinghouse, and Motorola—former owners of trademark rights in, respectively, the terms “aspirin,” “cellophane,” “laundromat,” and “flip phone”— U.S. law does not protect terms that identify the general nature of a product or service itself rather than the source thereof, or “generic” terms, as trademarks.  What if, however, these .......
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IP Post-Brexit: What Does the "FEUture" hold?
November 06, 2019
Post by Julie L. Spieker
Julie L. Spieker On December 12, the United Kingdom (UK) will hold a general election, in which Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to secure a clear majority so as not to lose the prospect of Brexit after failing to leave the European Union (EU) by the end of October as previously promised. Currently, Johnson enjoys a healthy lead in the polls which raises the question: what is the impact of Brexit on int.......
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Halloween Edition: Copyright for Banana Costume is upheld on A-Peel
October 30, 2019
Post by Brandon W. Clark
The Third Circuit recently held that a banana costume qualified for copyright protection as Rasta Imposta, a retail wholesaler of Halloween costumes, sued Kangaroo Manufacturing, a costume manufacturer, for copyright infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition after Rasta discovered Kangaroo selling a banana costume that resembled one of Rasta’s costumes without a license. The costumes.......
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If You Pop, You Better Stop
October 18, 2019
Post by Sarah M. Luth
In the latest battle of branding, the Italian government has confiscated approximately 250 tubes of the “Prosecco & Pink Peppercorn” flavored Pringles from several grocery stores in the Veneto region. The Prosecco flavored Pringles were seized on the grounds that the use of the term “Prosecco” was allegedly not approved by the wine’s consortium of Italy. The name Prosecco has been protected by the De.......
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Fighting Against 170 Years of Prior Inaction—Uphill Battle for the USPTO in Recovering Attorneys’ Fees
October 16, 2019
Post by Tina G. Yin Sowatzke, Pharm.D.
Tina G Yin-Sowatzke Oral arguments commenced on October 7, 2019 in Peter v. NantKwest at the Supreme Court of the United States. For a brief summary of the issues, see the author’s previous post here. Appearing before the Supreme Court were Malcolm Stewart, representing the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and Morgan Chu, representing NantKwest, Inc. While legal fees may not be the mo.......
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Faster Patent Application Examinations for 2019
October 11, 2019
Post by Kirk M. Hartung
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been working for many years to improve patent examination times. Processing and examining patent applications in a high quality and timely manner has been an important aspect of the USPTO 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. For the 2019 fiscal year ending in September, the USPTO has met their goal for patent prosecution timelines.  Specifically, average tota.......
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Trademarks: Property Plus Insurance
October 11, 2019
Post by Gregory "Lars" Gunnerson
Intellectual property is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. It is widely accepted patents, copyrights, and trademarks confer an exclusive right. Unlike patents and copyrights, the constitutional foundation for trademark law is the Commerce Clause, U.S. Const., Art. I, § 8, cl. 3, rather than the Intellectual Property Clause, U.S. Const., Art. I. § 8, cl. 8. .......
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US Courts Tripping over TRIPS
October 09, 2019
Post by Oliver P. Couture, Ph.D.
This summer, the Australian Federal Court went the other way in Sequenom, Inc. v. Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. than the US, finding that the method of detecting fetal DNA in maternal blood to be eligible subject matter and that the patent was valid and infringed. While the Federal Circuit described the invention as “truly meritorious” and “ground breaking”, they found it to be invalid because it was directed.......
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Walking Alone: Liverpool FC Fails to Obtain Namesake Trademark
October 05, 2019
Post by Nicholas J. Krob
English Premier League soccer club Liverpool FC may have scraped by with a victory against Sheffield United last weekend, but that luck does not appear to have extended to the U.K. Intellectual Property Office.  Earlier this year, the club announced that it had submitted an application with the IPO to register LIVERPOOL as a trademark in a variety of classes for soccer (well, “football”)-related goods and s.......
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A Simple Fix to §101 with Arbitration
October 03, 2019
Post by Kirk M. Hartung
This summer’s decision by the Federal Circuit in Athena Diagnostics, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Services, LLC, highlights the consensus that something needs to be done regarding the current state of the law of patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C §101. In particular, the judicially created exceptions to patentability under 101 are laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas. The last, abstract ide.......
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The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.

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